Reading Question Type
Multiple Choice

Watch the video on how to adopt an effective strategy for the multiple choice question types.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Information

Multiple choice questions are very common in the reading test and you should expect to find them in at least one of the sections.

There are several types of multiple choice questions.

Task 1: You are required choose the correct answer from a list of 3 or 4 options that completes a sentence or answers a question. 

Example: Task 1

IELTS Reading Mulitple Choice

Strategies & Tips

  • Start by speed reading or skimming the text first. This will give you a good idea about what information is contained in each section or paragraph.

  • While reading, make brief notes of the question paper that summarize the information contained in each section or paragraph.

  • The answers are in the same order as the text. You will not find the answer for question 40 before 39.

  • Highlight the key words in the options but don’t try to match them in the text. Synonyms and paraphrase will be used.

 

Example:

Question 39. One of the reasons the National Trust decided to rebuild Uppark was that

 

Answer: C. they wouldn’t have to pay for repairs.

 

Text: Also, the property was covered by insurance, so the repairs would not call upon the National trust’s own funds.

 

  • When deciding on your answer use a process of elimination using the information in the text to decide which options are not possible. These possible answers are distractors.

 

Example: 

Question 39. One of the reasons the National Trust decided to rebuild Uppark was that

 

Option A. the Meade-Featherstonhaugh family wanted them to.

 

Text: Lastly, much had been saved of the fine collection acquired especially for Uppark form 1747 by Sir Matthew Featherstonhaugh and his son Harry.

 

  • Another use of distractors is the use of qualifying words. This task uses qualifying words extensively that can change the meaning of the sentence or answer.

Example:

Question 38 has qualifying words “all” and “most”

  • Think about how the use of qualifying words can change the meaning of a sentence.

 

For all multiple-choice questions, never leave a question unanswered. Always guess. You have a high percentage chance that it’s correct.

Task 2: You are required to choose options from a list.

Example: 

IELTS Reading Multiple Choice

Strategies & Tips

  • The order of the options is the same as the information in the text.

  • Start by speed reading or skimming the text first. This will give you a good idea about what information is contained in each section or paragraph.

  • While reading, make brief notes of the question paper that summarize the information contained in each section or paragraph.

  • Highlight the key words in the options but don’t try to match them in the text. Synonyms and paraphrase will be used.

 

Example: 

Option D. It would cut down on air pollution.

 

Text: ... and drastically reducing its carbon dioxide emissions.

 

Synonyms & paraphrase

 

Option                                    Text

cut down                                 reduce

air pollution                            carbon dioxide emissions

  • Distractors are used extensively in this task. Study the option carefully and think about the meaning of the sentence as a whole when comparing it to the information in the text.

Example:

Option D. . It would replace all other forms of energy in Britain. 

Text: If tide, wind and wave power are all developed, Britain would be able to close gas, coal and nuclear power plants...

  • It’s tempting to choose option B but on closer examination, the instruction says “claims about tidal power” ONLY but the text mentions 2 other form of alternative energy (wind and wave) and if all 3 (including tidal) were adopted it would be true. 

  • So, it is not a claim about tidal power alone and cannot be chosen.

 

For all multiple-choice questions, never leave a question unanswered. Always guess. You have a high percentage chance that it’s correct.

Task 3: You are required to choose an option from a list which can be a title or summary of the text.

 

  • This question type is always the last one in the section.

Example: 

IELTS Reading Multiple Choice

Strategies & Tips

  • By the time you have reached this question, you will have already speed read or skimmed the text so there should be no need to do so again.

  • Study the options and highlight the key words. 

  • Think about the meaning of the options as to whether they summarize the main idea of the text.

  • Skim the opening and closing paragraphs of the text as the main ideas are usually contained there.

  • Eliminate any option that is not possible according to the information in the text.

  • Do not spend too long on this task as it is only worth 1 point.

For all multiple-choice questions, never leave a question unanswered. Always guess. You have a high percentage chance that it’s correct.